How to make enamel pins?
We're here to help you with your enamel pin choices, as we get a lot of the same questions:
"Would this work?"
"Is this too detailed?"
"Do you provide a template?"
The answer to these questions will be looked in to in this Blog Post come FAQ of sorts.
What type of pin do you want?
Firstly, this is a question you need to ask yourself, what type of pin do I want? Soft enamel? Hard enamel? Offset 3D enamel? Printed hard enamel? - My job here isn't to confuse you, but there are so many different choices, and I will take you through every single option, to give you an idea of what is needed when you send your design through to us here at PinPals.
Soft enamel is a base metal - can be brass, iron, zinc (often you won't know which is provided, but happy to offer this advice if you ever have any questions) - which is stamped with a design with a plated metal. This is recessed, and the enamel paint then sits in the recesses of the metal.
What this means, is that if you've got a design that is around 4 colours, you will need an outline separating all of the colours, as colours don't "pool" they physically need a barrier.
Line thickness is around .3mm, and text minimum is 5pt.
We use the excellent artwork of Clorty Cat Crafts as an example:
So outline of this soft enamel pin is a black dyed metal - with 7 colours, the black forms a barrier between all of the colours, and sometimes the raise in the outline forms part of the image (see the dots in the fish, and the black spots - plus the raised "waves").
The outline of a design can be dyed to match any Pantone colour - it can be black/white/red/green - anything your heart desires.
For examples of gold/brass/metal plates I will attach below
All pins pictured are soft enamel (clicking on the image will also take you to buy the pins!) - it shows the different plating's - we do have more, copper, brass, antique gold / silver.
Hard enamel, or imitation hard enamel is great for a more premium and polished design. If you're going more for a pop-art look, then soft enamel is great, but these examples of what detail can be achieved in hard enamel is where it's at.
Bit of a technical run through:
Hard enamel line thickness can be .3mm, but after polishing may bleed to around .5mm, so be aware when creating super tiny details.
Text should always be a minimum of 5pt when using a type face on a pin.
Dyed metal can't be achieved with hard enamel - only plated metal (rose gold, gold, chromium, black nickel, nickel)
Gold hard enamel:
As I'm sure you can appreciate, we can't do templates for pins, as each design we receive is completely unique. But file format, and style isn't an issue as we digitise designs for you - any changes we will make free of charge until you're completely happy.
If you're making a super detailed image - you can always email us on email@example.com and we will happily tell you if any changes need to be made.
If in doubt, ask, we have thousands of examples if you have any questions!